What is advocacy?
Advocacy is identifying, embracing and promoting a cause, and then using information and education to make a compelling case for that cause. It can shape public perception, as well as public policy.
Advocacy can take shape in many ways, including through outreach, letters, articles, and social media. Reaching out to elected officials about the importance of the arts is a form of advocacy. Using research, created materials, and personal stories are all ways of getting your message heard, and getting your cause the attention it deserves.
How do I become an advocate for the arts?
While there are endless ways to answer this question, here is a jumping off point.
- Register to Vote: Advocacy starts with the individual. By registering to vote, you are ensuring that your voice will be able to be heard, and you can have a say in electing officials that will prioritize funding for the arts. To learn more about this, check out our Arts Vote page.
- Support the Arts on a Local Level: Check out our Seven Days of Supporting the Arts Challenge we started during shelter in place orders! From big art museums to small artist-run organizations, memberships are the lifeblood of our arts community. Consider purchasing a membership to your local or regional arts and culture institution. The arts are stronger, together, and your support will mean so much to the arts in Texas.
- Take the Advocacy Challenge: The Arts Advocacy Challenge is a great way to familiarize yourself with who in Texas is making the decisions, and how you can be more involved. In addition, you can start to craft your own advocacy story to share with others.
- Engage with Others: Follow and engage with artists, arts organizations, and your legislators on social media to add your voice in support. Share your own arts story, and engage those in your community on why it is important to support the arts (hint: check out this Americans for the Arts blog post!). By adding voices from the arts and from elected officials to your sphere, you will have access to the most up to date arts news.
- Contact Your Legislators: We are in an unprecedented situation in the face of a global pandemic, where the arts are being left out of the conversation. You can visit the Arts Action Center to see current campaigns, and to reach out to your elected officials to share your support.
Ready for more? Check out our Community Advocacy Toolkit for the next steps to becoming a champion of the arts!